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36th Annual – May 14, 2011
1st Place – Don Kobabe – 43.7 lbs – California Halibut
2nd Place – Tony Campos – 17.7 lbs – White Seabass
3rd Place – Shawn Bevin – 16.7 lbs – Rock Fish
Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby Results
The 2011 MDR Halibut Derby is in the books and by all Annual Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby 2011standards it was a great success. The 36th Annual MDR Halibut Derby was completely reinvented this year with the goal of making it more accessible to anglers and at the same time reducing the pressure on our local Santa Monica Bay halibut population. The changes included making it a one day event, reducing the costs, including additional fish species for awards, expanding the geographical boundaries of the tournament and adding a special 20% weight credit for live halibut releases.
The 2011 MDR Halibut Derby was held on Saturday, May 14 and anglers starting assembling the night before to get an early start on the tail gate partying and prepared for fishing the next morning. On Saturday derby anglers awoke to gray overcast but calm weather. Anglers fished especially hard all day knowing there would be NO tomorrow. Forgoing the big barracuda bite reported in the bay, many worked the spots for the intended targets some inshore for halibut others out in the rougher deep seas for rockfish.
Talk started early as one call came in about a big fish. Few take that too seriously but it turned out to be true. Anglers started arriving to weigh in their fish around 3pm. There was a definite buzz around the weigh-in dock as anglers and by-standers gathered to see the big fish that the boat “But’s Up” brought to the docks. They weighed in a lovely 43.7 pound California Halibut caught by Don Kobabe of Agoura. It immediately went to the top of the leader board.
Second place came in late. With just a few minutes to spare kayaker Tony Copos weighed in a sweet 17.7 pound halibut. Tony worked locally and caught a full limit of halibut and said he released more shorts back to the bay. Fishing from kayak in shallow waters is the hottest new trend in the angling community. A very healthy way to go enjoy the ocean.
Some of the new “Save the Halibut” rules were quite effective. Two anglers took advantage of the 20% weight credit and released healthy fish at the docks with witness. Paul Thompson 6.6 lbs and Larry Silver with 6.7 lbs. Both fish swam away from the docks to keep growing and helping the local Santa Monica Bay populations.
The officials weighed in many of bags of rock fish and some bass. Eventually a big bag of rock fish went high on the scales to earn Shawn Bevin a spot on the leader board in Third place. His total bag was 16.7 lbs. for a nice tasty stringer of fish.
The expanded variety of species being weighed in increased the excitement, as more anglers felt they had a chance to successfully weigh in fish. Those lucky enough to weigh in were rewarded with a subscription to Western Outdoor News. The winners received prizes along with the trophies. One treat is the souvenir photo of their catch with a lovely Miss Halibut. This year the many Anglers with fish were able to pose with the lovely Deve McLaughlin who with the help of celebrity photographer Gisele Rebeiro worked to make every photo great. The photos will be viewable on the Marina Del Rey Anglers web site.
The Halibut Derby Committee wants to say a heartfelt “Thanks” to all participants and volunteers. A very special “Thank You” also goes out to each of the businesses that sponsored the MDR Halibut Derby with gifts. In these hard times and businesses being extra frugal MDRA is especially appreciative of the sponsors who supported our charity event. The award ceremony and raffle was held at the foot of the Burton Chase Park Mariner statue. The event is an annual tradition that starts many anglers off to a new season full of fun fishing!
“Congratulations to all anglers,” said a tired Derby Director Ken Raymond. “We were looking for ways to make our traditional derby more inclusive to more anglers and at the same time put less pressure of our very local halibut stocks. Making the derby a one day event and lowering the entry cost to only $30 made it easier for everybody to participate.”
Bob Kissling, MDR President said, “We think expanding the area allowable to fish outside the Santa Monica Bay, including other species and giving a weight credit for released halibut all helped to put less pressure on local halibut stocks and gave all anglers a really good chance at catching an eligible fish.” Bob was especially thankful that the event will be able to fund the charity efforts for next year.
Marina del Rey Anglers is a fishing and conservation group and a non profit 501(c)3 organization. Proceeds from the MDR Halibut Derbies have traditionally funded the
club’s well known and respected MDRA Youth Fishing Program, its White Seabass Grow-out Pens in Marina Del Rey and various other critical marine environmental and conservation programs. It hosted over 500 children to fishing trips over the summer of 2010. These future anglers come from inner city areas and at risk environments to the ocean for new eye opening experiences. Over the years MDRA has released nearly 100,000 white seabass from its WSB grow-out pens. MDRA welcomes new members and all donations. For more information visit www.mdranglers.com and look for derby photos and results or www.HalibutDerby.com for information on this event and the sponsored charities.